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Hollywood animal trainer Sid Yost has been fined $30,000 by the U.S. government for around 40 abuse and neglect violations dating back to 2008.
Louisiana-based Yost has also had his Animal Welfare Act license revoked, effectively putting him out of business to directly handle or supply animals to Hollywood film and TV projects. Yost’s screen credits include Get Out, The Hunger Games, 12 Years a Slave and Lee Daniels’ The Butler on the movie side, and TV series Sleepy Hollow and Ravenswood.
The AWA violations detailed in a U.S. Department of Agriculture decision on Sidney Jay Yost and his company, Amazing Animal Productions, and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, include failing to provide animals with sufficient space, sanitary living conditions and uncontaminated food.
The violations also found instances of Yost using physical abuse to handle wolves and other animals, including hitting a monkey, a lion, and tigers with sticks. Yost doesn’t need an AWA license to arrange or coordinate contracts with other animal trainers and suppliers for Hollywood productions, and he is still getting hired to do so, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the animal rights group.
“The authorities did the right thing by fining Sidney Yost and revoking his license, and now Hollywood needs to step up and stop hiring this longtime abuser,” Lisa Lange, senior vice president of PETA, said Thursday in a statement. Yost was the subject of a 2013 investigation by The Hollywood Reporter into allegations of animal abuse and neglect, which found many productions either do not know to check a trainer’s USDA record or make an effort to do so.
Yost, who operates out of his 58-acre Nola Movie Ranch near Covington, La., north of Lake Pontchartrain, could not be reached for comment.
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